This study investigated the extent to which parents’ influenced the career choice of their children which emanated conflict between them in Sokoto Metropolis. To guide the study, fifteen research questions were posed and two hypotheses formulated. Ex-post facto research design was adopted for the study. The study was carried out in Sokoto north, Sokoto South and Wamakko area councils of Sokoto state. The population for the study consists of entire senior secondary school one (SS3) students selected in Sokoto metropolis for the study. The sample size for the study was 350 students from the area of study. Multistage sampling technique was adopted in selecting the sample. A structured questionnaire titled Children’ Career Choice Conflict Questionnaire (SCCCQ)’ and Parents/Teachers Interview (PI/TI) were used for data collection. The research questions were analyzed using likert scale such as Agreed, Strongly Agreed, Disagreed and Strongly Disagreed while the hypotheses were tested at 0.05 levels using one-way ANOVA. The results of the study revealed that parents do significantly influence the children’ career choice and resulted into value conflict when children choose to go against their parents’ wishes. However, Parents’ educational qualification as well as their type of education does significantly influence the students’ career choice conflict. This study has educational implications on career choice conflict of children from highly qualified and educated parents from high schools such as University and secondary schools. Based on the findings, it was recommended among others that significant career influencers such as friends, parents, members of the community and media personnel need to be equipped with correct career information for them to guide children appropriately.
Background to the study
Education is the most powerful instrument for social reforms, develops knowledge, skills and character in an individual and society at large. Education seeks to socialize individuals so as to equip them with the desired mode of behaviour that is in conformity with the way of life of the society, which they live, (Taiwo, 1980). It is explained as the process of teaching, training and learning in schools and colleges for the development of knowledge and skills, so as to prepare individual (learners) to live happily within themselves and others in society where they live.
Fafunwa (1974) also defined education as what each generation gives to its younger ones, which makes them to develop attitudes, abilities, skills and other behaviours which are of positive value to the society in which they live. It is the process through which individuals are made participating members of their society. It is also the system through which man becomes a moral agent, capable of living in society and contributing towards the growth and development of the society. It is a process through which the young acquires the ability to be useful to themselves and others, through education and career achievements (Ocho, 2005). Career achievements according to the scholar simply means, the positive outcomes of education, after students have obtained knowledge, skills and good conduct, and become useful members of the society, which they found themselves. Career therefore plays a very fundamental and significant role in the life of the individual not only because they determine the pattern of income but also because they affect the individual personality and concepts in life, when there is a disagreement between parents and their children over the career the children should choose. (Ngesi, 2003).
In our society today, parents are the ones that nurture, raise, promote and support the physical, emotional, social, intellectual and career development needs of the children. They serve as significant interpreters for children of information about the world and children’s abilities (Pitol & Regis 2012). The children on their part tend to seek help from parents to learn and to interpret reality. The reliance invariably gives parents undeniable opportunities to make impact on the development of their children’s future, aspirations and career choices. Sad enough, the study observed that, parents due to some personal considerations fail to play this vital role well. This is because, they shift focus from the child’s interest and abilities to some personal factors peculiar to them in reaching decisions. This situation becomes a problem when the parental views differ remarkably from the career intentions of their children.
According to (Ngesi, 2003), Conflict is a part of all nature and systems including that of the parents and the adolescents in relation to their choice of career. Value conflict between parents and children on career choice from the researchers’ view point occur, when there is a disagreement between parent and the child over the career the child should pursue. This is experienced when the freedom to make a choice of a career by young people is not always allowed by their parents. It also arises when parent pressures a child toward a particular career just for the purpose of ensuring that, the child pursues his/her career intentions. Otto (2000) observed that parents’ reasons for enforcing their own career goals on the children is because, they believe they know more than the children and the career they select for their children, will be most likely the best for them. In addition, parents in their selfish pride regard certain careers, as more prestigious than others, and would want to be seen as parents whose child is in that career. Often times, parents who owned and established a successful career/business in a specialized field like medicine, law, pharmacy, etc would want their children to follow that same career so that they can pass it on to them, even when their children may not have the aptitude for such careers (Grant, 2004). For instance, in related study on this topic, the researchers read scenarios in one of the placement services conducted by a researcher, for JSS 3 students going into SSI, where a parent who was a pharmacist insisted that, his ward must study pharmacy and take over from him. Even though his ward indicated that, he has no such ability and did not express an interest or intention to become one. There are also instances where parents who could not achieve a certain career during their lifetime would try to pass their failed ambition to their children and would make it mandatory for the children to attain that career, they did not attain. There are other occasions where parents fear that, the careers chosen by the children are not realistic and may not give them a secured future. This happens when a child decides to become an entertainer, comedian, musician, artist, dancer, modeler, actor/actress, footballer etc and feels that, schooling is no longer relevant to him/her. In such instances, any plan by the parents to get him/her to focus on his/her studies would be construed by him/her as being an obstacle to his/her future. Because most parents feel that those career paths are not real and sustainable careers, they would want to persuade the children not to follow such career paths by engaging in value conflict with the child. There is also a case where a child was disowned by his parents because, he wants to be a musician as against a lawyer which was intended by his parents and this is usually the problem or situation when there are two divergent views on the career choice of an individual.
From the empirical evidences, parents’ ability to influence their children, towards a career path may be related to the parents’ socio-economic status, age, value and other factors. For instance, some parents use their age advantage to dictate choices for their children and by virtue of their age make their children to suppress what they want. When the children perceive that, their parents are using their age influence to make persuasive statements, convictions or threats, about a particular career expectation preferred by them, they engage in value conflict with their parents. Again, when parents build and design a future for a child based on their dreams and not on the child’s talent and pressures him/her to pursue a quality, level, or type of education that will not give him/her fulfillment in life, in his/her intended career, it leads to value conflict. Sometimes when parents only want a career that will protect their social class and image in the society, it makes them to engage in conflict with their children (Super, 1954). For instance when parents only consider their status which is at stake, if they allow their children to take to another profession, without due recognition of their children’s interest, abilities, performances and preferences, the young persons may object to the parent’s career plan and refuse to accept the choice made and this action of family involvement, also result to value conflict.
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